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RIAA Counsel Richard Gabriel Addresses The Court  (Source: Wired Threat Level)

The Jury Found Jammie Thomas Guilty and Awarded $222,000 in Damages  (Source: Wired Threat Level)
The RIAA adds a notch to its belt of legal victories

“This is what can happen if you don’t settle,” said RIAA attorney Richard Gabriels, speaking to reporters just outside the Duluth, Minnesota Courthouse, minutes after Jammie Thomas was found liable for copyright infringement to the tune of $222,000.
 
Thomas, a single mom with two kids, left the courthouse without comment and did not speak with reporters.
 
Under the username “Tereastarr,” Thomas was found sharing just over 1,700 files via the Kazaa network on February 21, 2005. Of those 1,700 tracks, 24 were named – including music from popular artists such as AFI, Green Day, and Aerosmith – and for each one she was held liable for $9,250 worth of damages, coming to a grand total of $222,000.
 
Brian Toder, Thomas’ defense attorney, maintained that there existed no proof that Thomas was the person behind the keyboard, noting that Thomas or her computer may have been the victim of zombie botnet, spoofing attacks, or malicious crackers. “All we know is that Jammie Thomas didn’t do it,” said Toder, adding that Thomas was “not the person marauding as Tereastarr.”
 
This defense did not appear to hold up as it was found that Thomas used “Tereastarr” all around the internet, including online shopping, chat services, e-mail, and even dating services. The offending songs were linked to her cable modem’s MAC address, as well as her home IP address.
 
Gabriels called Thomas’ defense “misdirection, red herrings, and smoke and mirrors.”
 
Complicating Thomas’ defense was testimony from an ex-boyfriend saying while he had never seen her actively downloading music, she did have her hard drive replaced a month after her computer was picked up in the RIAA’s dragnets. Toder said that this was due to hard drive problems – something Thomas’ ex-boyfriend remembered her complaining about beforehand – but the RIAA argued that she had it changed to cover her tracks.
 
Forensic scientists could not find any evidence of file sharing on her new hard drive, and her old hard drive was not admitted as evidence.
 
Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, as Thomas’ loss is more formally known, was the first lawsuit of its kind to proceed before a jury as well as a landmark case that set precedent heavily favoring the RIAA in future legal battles. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled that one could be guilty of copyright infringement merely by the act of making copyrighted songs available for download; as a result the RIAA did not need to establish that Thomas at her computer at the time her was accessed by investigators, nor did they need to prove that anyone actually downloaded the music she offered.
 
While the RIAA no longer publishes the number of lawsuits it’s filed in its four-years-and-counting legal campaign against file sharers, many publications speculate that that number stands anywhere between 18,000 and 36,000 lawsuits, with untold more settling long before the actual trial.


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RE: What a mess
By scrapsma54 on 10/4/2007 10:36:34 PM , Rating: -1
RIAA has to be stopped, they need to quit with this foolishness. Stop blaming others for your crappy anti-piracy methods, you need to fix them before you can actually make dealings with bands who don't want to loose money on a gig. I do agree with certain file sharing. Music should not be subject to such dispute. I think if one wants to obtain one of their songs that they heard on the radio I think they should feel entitled, its not a matter of stealing, just some people don't want to buy whole cds just for one good song And some people don't want itunes. Even there are some things iTunes cannot provide. However, if you want a game, I suggest you guys pay for it if you actually like it. There are things developers deserve millions of dollars in credit for. PSSSSh, Music? Dear lord, Music can be made quite easily ranging from a day to a month maybe a year, I might get shot for saying this too. Game developers like Bungie, Crytek, Irrational, Epic games, valve and the other mega-title production studios deserve our credit, they spend 2 years or more. Valve spent 8 years for team fortress 2, dear god I will hunt you if you download it. Movies, IF its downloading UWE boll movies, GO Ahead, But if you tell me you cannot go spend $5 dollars to see a movie, dear lord move out of your moms house. Ok, If you saw the movie 2 times in the theater, GOSh darn it download it and buy the movie when it gets out. DOn't enjoy it that much to empty your wallet in 3 weeks.


RE: What a mess
By SirLucius on 10/4/2007 10:57:39 PM , Rating: 5
You clearly A.) Aren't a musician yourself, B.) Don't know any musicians, and C.) Have very little understanding of what goes into producing a whole album, let alone one song.

While the bare bones of a song may be written in one day, I've never known any musician that writes an album ready song in a day. Most songs take around 3 to 4 weeks minimum to get to an acceptable standard. And yes, while generic pop music might be more easily made than other genres, it still takes time to produce. The average time between album releases for most bands I listen to is around 2 years. That not only includes working in the studio, but multiple tours and promotions. I'm sure you've never sat down and tried to mix and master a track either. That process alone can take forever to get done right.

I'm not a fan of the RIAA/music industry, but to completely ignore the time and effort that goes into producing an album is just ignorant. Yeah, game developers and movie producers deserve our credit, but just because a song might be over in 4:30 minutes doesn't mean that it didn't take several months to get written, recorded, and edited to meet certain standards.


RE: What a mess
By duzytata on 10/5/2007 1:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
Just addressing the never part. Neil Young wrote and recorded a 10 song album in 9 days. "Living with War"

quote:
Written and recorded over the course of only nine days in March and April 2006,[1][3] its lyrics are in line with the early 1960s albums of folk artists such as Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan, though it is set to what Young calls "metal folk protest music"[4] courtesy of Young, bassist Rick Rosas, drummer Chad Cromwell and trumpet player Tommy Bray.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_with_War


RE: What a mess
By SirLucius on 10/5/2007 1:41:05 AM , Rating: 3
Wow, that's pretty damn impressive. I'd never heard of anyone recording that fast. I've known some artists to write very quickly, but they spend a lot of time in the studio working on tones, the mix, etc. I guess what they say is true...never say never. :/


RE: What a mess
By wordsworm on 10/5/2007 6:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
Even faster would be Bob Dylan's album "Bob Dylan" in 2 days. But, he was a freak of nature - a genius among geniuses. But, as you know, it was a raw album without much tweaking. Your point is valid: most of what comes out can take a lot of time and money to complete.


RE: What a mess
By Oregonian2 on 10/5/2007 9:41:23 PM , Rating: 1
And those which are "live in Carnegie Hall Sept 19, 1923" (or whatever) probably took an hour or two for the recording itself. :-)


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